Patients have their say over GP wait times

A GP at work. PA Wire/PA Images.
A GP at work. PA Wire/PA Images.

People in Hartlepool have had their say on figures which show that one in five patients have had to wait a week or more to see a GP.

Of the patients in the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG who responded to the NHS’s annual GP Survey, 21% had to wait a week or more to see a GP or nurse last time they booked an appointment. Five years ago, just 16% had to wait that long.

In the area, the issue was most pronounced at Woodbridge Practice, in Ingleby Barwick, where 41% of patients had to wait a week or longer to see a GP or nurse.

At the other end of the scale, only 5% of patients faced a week’s delay at the Koh Practice, in Hartlepool.

Readers have reacted to the news, with many saying they had struggled to get an appointment.

Graeme Scott said: “This is a lamentable situation.

“Ring up the surgery and, from the first second ,they attempt to put the caller off making an appointment.

“It’s like a rugby scrum, competing with others for basic medics.”

Hayley Stevenson said: “It’s because every Tom, Dick and Harry goes to the GP over nothing – flooding GP surgeries.

“Most ailments are treatable from the pharmacy over the counter cheaper than you will pay for prescription.”

Samantha Hills wrote: “My son has just turned one and still not seen my GP. He always had to see an emergency doctor, It’s disgusting.”

Max Wrigley said: “I have experienced this problem because all the doctors in my practice went on holiday at the same time.”

Joanne Maynard added: “Last year it took me eight weeks to get a doctor’s appointment.”